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On behalf of the European Space Agency( ESA), the Eindhoven-based company HighTechXL is to market space technology which have been developed within the ESA. In doing so, HighTechXL, propelled by the Eindhoven Startup Alliance, will once again team up with a world-renowned research centre. This month will see HighTechXL set about building up new companies around ESA technology as part of a long-term partnership.

HighTechXL was established in 2015. It is the most significant ‘deep technology accelerator‘ in The Netherlands. The organization is an initiative of the Eindhoven Startup Alliance,with  ASML, Philips, NTS Group, High Tech Campus Eindhoven, ABN AMRO, Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) and EY/HVG as its founders.

Optical gyroscope

HighTechXL has already had numerous successes in the technology transmission field. In addition, the organization is constantly setting up new companies that transform specialized technologies from research centers such as CERN and others into products for the market. The first ESA technology being brought into the program is ESA’s patented optical chip gyroscope.

Researchers at Politecnico di Bari in Italy have developed a photonic gyroscope under ESA contract that replaces mechanical parts with an optical gyroscope based on waveguide-based ring resonators.

HighTechXL teams will work on integrating this new stabilization technology into a photonic chip so as to create an extremely compact and highly accurate sensor. The new technology has potential applications within the healthcare, aerospace and semiconductor industries.

Image degradation

A second technology developed within ESA is the patented hollow waveguide array. This imaging technology corrects lens distortion known as image degradation. Curved lenses have a curved focal area. Which means that the edges of  images are blurred and out of focus, even though the center is sharply focused.

For deep-space mapping, ESA has developed a technology that eliminates this light curvature distortion, (aka spherical aberration). ESA’s system uses hollow waveguides to focus light on the edges of images. The ‘arrays’ are light and uncomplicated compared to complex multiple lens configurations, yet surprisingly robust.

This technology was only recently available due to advances in microfabrication technologies. While the system was developed for ESA satellite mapping projects, it is capable of being used in everything from healthcare diagnostic equipment to digital entertainment.


It was agreed in the partnership that HighTechXL would hold hackathons three times a year where new ESA technologies could be presented. The aim here is to find motivated teams willing to build businesses around these.

These technologies complement other futuristic projects that HighTechXL has brought to the market on behalf of cutting-edge research centres. These concern the use of structured laser beam technology in 5G and particle beam accelerators for detecting illegal drugs, among other things.

Read more articles about HighTechXL via this link.